Millions of Americans believed in the Republican bogeyman called "death panel" and so they rallied in town hall meetings to shout nonsense in objection to health care reform efforts.
As a result, we're still stuck with one of the poorest health care systems in the so-called "free world."
But there's a real death panel in this country. Its members are R. W. Tillerson, Chairman; M. W. Albers, M. J. Dolan, D. D. Humphreys, R. N. Schleckser, J. M. Spellings, Jr., S. K. Stuewer, T. R. Walters and J.J. Woodbury. They are the corporate officers of EXXON, the most profitable corporation in history, a corporation that pays no federal income taxes and in fact usually receives a fat refund from the government.
EXXON is only the most powerful of the multitude of hugely profitable extraction industries and their satellites who plunder finite planetary resources, often polluting the environment in the process, and who have used their filthy lucre to successfully ward off government intervention to save the earth.
Fittingly it is the United States, the biggest polluter, the biggest energy consumer, the most wastrel nation on the face of the earth, which, in its servitude to corporate power, has gummed the gears of world efforts to address climate change.
In Durban, South Africa, the nations of the world are working overtime to win commitments to a milksop package of compromises. The United States delegation seems reluctantly committed to backing some form of this too little, too late effort.
The United Nations climate scientists, who have documented beyond the shadow of a doubt what 's happening to our planet because of human actions like EXXON's, created the Global Carbon Project in 1997 to monitor greenhouse gas emissions. Signatories to the Protocol -- the United States refused to sign -- committed to reduce those emissions. But those commitments expire next year. Without the biggest polluter in he world, the efforts have come to nil.
The latest Global Carbon Project report showed that carbon emissions from our planet had increased 5.9 percent between 2009 and 2010, the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution.
Since nothing's being done -- thank you, Mr. Obama, Mr. Tillerson, and all you other robber baron oligarchs throughout the world -- next year's report will be even more grim.
A planet already a dangerous one degree warmer because of human folly is racing to become suicidally two degrees warmer.
Tillerson's death panel is killing us -- with our tacit consent.
Is it any wonder that a society that tolerates such a death panel accepts as serious candidates for its presidency the likes of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachman, Rick Parry and Rick Santorum, or gets its "information" from the likes of Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly?
"Keep government out of my Medicare!" indeed. Who needs health care when we've signed off on universal suicide?
What fools these mortals be!